The Drugging of an HOA

There’s a new high rise luxury condo on Mission Street in downtown San Francisco. Built in 2009 with every classy aesthetic feature, it was high-priced and all the units on its 22 floors sold out quickly. It’s called The SOMA Grand. It’s governed by an HOA, of course.

Residents of the new building say almost immediately after they bought in, they started having problems with flooding during rainstorms, cracks in walls, and failures of sealant joints. The HOA has scrambled to get into court to sue everyone connected with the construction. “Going for the deep pocket”, as lawyers say.

The HOA is suing for four million dollars. And millions of bucks will be spent by both sides in legal fees. These brand new HOA residents will find their monthly dues are going to soar. If they win the suit, the biggest chunk will be taken by the lawyers. And if the residents get anything back, it’ll be pennies on the dollar.

The SOMA Grand.

You’ve gotta love the name.

What is SOMA?  It’s a high powered drug. It’s a drug that leaves you stoned and stupid. Then again, half of San Francisco is already stoned and stupid. And San Francisco sits on one of the largest earthquake faults in the country where they’re all waiting for ‘the big one.”


Yeah, I do love the name.

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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